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February 23, 2006

HarryTho 2/23 Natalee Holloway Commentary

Topics: Natalee Holloway

This evening, I will continue to deconstruct the lawsuit 102254/2006 and cover some of the ABC News interview with Joran van der Sloot.

Over the past two days, I looked over Pages 1 and 2 of 102254/206 and provided my inputs and impressions of the entries. Clearly, most of these entries have found conflicting opinions, owing mostly to the fact that service of a summons from a state court was performed upon a foreign national within the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security for an event that occurred within another country. Even the experts seem to be having trouble navigating through all caveats and overlapping regulations. How it turns out, it seems, will be decided by some court. With that said, please understand that I am not pontificating in these editorials from my limited perspective in Hawaii.

Let us take a look at Page 3, Part A. The Graduation Trip. Allegations: 8-10.

In general, Part A provides Index 102254/2006 plaintiffs' background of the trip to Aruba by 120 students and 7 chaperones from Birmingham, AL from 26 May to 30 May 2005. Part A closes with allegation 10 that Natalee Holloway never returned.

Now, on the surface, this does in fact seem to capture an brief overview of the trip to Aruba. It was a high school graduation trip. There were some 120 students and 7 chaperones in attendance. And, by all accounts, Natalee Holloway did not return to Birmingham, AL. As the investigation currently stands, it would be difficult to argue otherwise.

What the background reduces is the purpose of the trip. These students were, on average, about 18 years of age. They were unable to drink alcoholic beverages in the state of Alabama until they reached the age of 21. In Aruba, they would be permitted to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages at the age of 18.

This lowered benchmark was not a surprise to the students, their parents, the school administrators or the chaperones. This was the seventh such trip in sequence. It was known by all participants in this trip that alcohol would be readily available ... perhaps even round the clock ... to these 18 year old students.

The school even mounted an anti-drug coalition movement, designed to make clear strides in the abuse of alcohol and other drug use. Student Services Director Gloria Anderson (877-8349) presented Pride Surveys. In a banner, the Anti-Drug Coalition wrote: "Unfortunately, parents are often the biggest part of the enabling system when we fail to educate ourselves to the realities of underage drinking and other drug use. To assume there is no problem or that it effects only 'other' young people leaves the door open to disaster." "We enable when we send teenagers off ... with money and cell phones ... to other locations where such use occurs and we blithely assume that they will be sober and OK." "We enable when we allow teenagers to gather and party unsupervised in our homes, lake homes, beach houses ...." "We enable if we expect the schools, the churches, and some other force in society to do what only parents can do."

Mountain Brook Schools - Student Services

A comment from the students: "No child is safe ... tons of people you would never imagine smoke pot and drink ... pot and alcohol are the biggest problem ... only morons smoke tobacco." "If you think your child isn't drinking, he/she is."

From the from the foregoing, two clear impressions materialize. First, it was well known by the high school staff, administrators and students that underage drinking and other drug use was popular with the students. Second, the high school and the community had taken positive steps to curb underage drinking and drug usage. The Mountain Brook Anti-Drug Coalition banner speaks volumes about enabling. It is worth repeating: "We enable when we send teenagers off ... with money and cell phones ... to other locations where such use occurs and we blithely assume that they will be sober and OK."

Clearly, the benchmark for underage drinking in Alabama is 21. I wonder how many parents actually believed that their young adults of 18 would materialize into responsible consumers of alcohol (and other drugs) simply by taking a plane ride to Aruba ... "We enable when we allow teenagers to gather and party unsupervised ...." The parents had six prior student-trips to Aruba with which to conclude that response.

Admittedly, the plaintiffs' opening background description seem innocent enough, but when juxtaposed to student-trip history and the warning-activities of the Anti-Drug Coalition, it seems that they ignored history and provided an environment that left ... "the door open to disaster." These are the words of the plaintiffs' own community leaders and the students themselves.

From the foregoing, to suggest that plaintiffs suppressed information from the contents of Part A of 102254/2006 would be a gross understatement. However, that is not the worst of it.

Alabama Section on drinking:

Section 28-1-5, and all Sections, were enacted at the expense of the state of Alabama taxpayers by the Alabama Legislature in order to protect young adults of the state of Alabama from the dangers of alcohol abuse.

In a maneuver designed to evade the requirements of Section 28-1-5 of the Alabama Code, the plaintiffs allowed their underage child to travel, unsupervised, to the country of Aruba where the legal drinking age was 18, abandoning all the effort of the Alabama Legislature, and the Mountain Brook Anti-Drug Coalition and all the state tax dollars employed in order to safeguard their underage child from the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Interestingly, despite this disregard for the actions of the Alabama Legislature, the very same Alabama Legislature voted 27-0 to support the plaintiffs in a boycott of Aruba, because the plaintiffs' unsupervised, underage child fell prey to the very dangers that the Alabama Legislature strove to guard that underage child against.

Having said the foregoing, I cannot distinguish between this scenario of events and that of a burglar who breaks into a jewelry store (a crime) and in the process of stealing jewelry, trips over a foot stool in an aisle and breaks her hand. She is apprehended, and upon acquiring bail, sues the jewelry store owner for negligence over the harm done to her hand. The contempt one would have for such a creature and her abuse of the legal system would be unimaginable.

Yet, in Part A of 102254/2006, we unearth a similar scenario ... only the similar part about the jewelry store robbery (the crime) has been suppressed.

In juxtaposition, the plaintiffs in 102254/2006 suppressed the fact that they evaded Section 28-1-5 of the Alabama Code and now appeal to Sections 6-5-170 and 6-5-390 of the same Alabama Code for remedy.

I pray our readers can appreciate the injustice done by limiting the breadth of Part A of 102254/2006 to a mere three sentences.

On CNN Larry King Live:

Well, I guess my cable service does not air ABC News. I was not able to catch Joran's in person interview. Consequently, I watch Larry King Live on CNN. Larry's stand-in hosted John Q. Kelly, Beth Twitty, Dave Holloway, Joran van der Sloot via ABC News, Mike Garagos, Mike Cardoza, Robi Ludwig, Stacey Honowitz, Mary Fulgini and David Kock.

Beth comes on first to evaluate Joran's appearance on ABC News. She feels his statements are an old story, and he is lying. Beth refuses to discuss whether she thinks Joran killed Natalee or not. She just says that it does not look good for Natalee. Beth applauded John's involvement with the Aruban authorities. Since August 2005, the Aruban investigative left Beth out of the loop.

John Q. Kelly follows with an brief on his lawsuit. He said that it was for depositions in order to find out what happened. He implies the lawsuit was used to shut up the Van der Sloots from spinning their story. John desires a face-to-face discussion with Joran and Paulus van der Sloot under oath. When asked about the information in the lawsuit, John responded that he received all his information from police records and the suspects own statements. The narrator felt that John was stretching the lawsuit with the allegations 36-39: kidnapping. John feels that his information is accurate, and he can argue those allegation correctly. He relies on police reports.

Mike Garagos proffers the notion that a stay will be placed upon the lawsuit, if it gets started. John Q. concurs that he expects a stay, because he would be hampered by 5th Amendment responses while the investigation in Aruba was ongoing.

John Q. Kelly came back with comments made by Paulus: No body, no crime, and it was a good move to name Paulus in the lawsuit. John realizes that he has a serious jurisdictional problem.

David Kock claims that his clients: Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, are not involved in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. He claims that it is Joran that is being untruthful.

Mary Fulginiti feels that the lawsuit has jurisdiction for simple reasons of service. She does not give the convenience aspect much hope. However, she feels it will come down to a discretion issue by the judge. The fact that the entire case is outside the state of New York leaves little hope that a judge will undertake it. Also, for the first time, the case is realized that it is in a state court with no power outside the state and the country. She feels Joran's Marriott Beach statements are bad.

Robi Ludwig (psychologist) does not believe Joran. She feels Joran goes out of his way to degrade Natalee. She expresses a grandiose manner of Joran as he is too fine to have hurt the girl. Robi does consent that Joran could be telling the truth, this time.

Stacey Honowitz likewise does not believe Joran. She appeals to the accused-murderer defenders Mike and Mike for support. Stacey has trouble with the leap that Joran has gone from a womanizer to murderer and rapist. Her reasoning as logical was well, Joran was the last one with Natalee. He is a womanizer. He could have lured her. Then, probably he murdered her.

Dave Holloway just wants answers, and he speaks of the lawsuit as if he were part of it. Interestingly, for the first time on TV, he is dressed up in a suit ... like he just came from a business meeting in New York.

Mike Cardoza focuses on the witnesses who claim that Joran used a date rape drug on her, then he feels that John has a case. Although, all the panel agrees that these alleged date-rape-drug witnesses are speculation.

Rita of MSNBC News interviewed Plummer, a chaperone, and Dave Holloway. Plummer admitted that the students were drinking and having a good time at Carlos & Charli'e. There was a chaperone there; however, the report was that none of the students were carrying on out of hand. The chaperone describe how the students were organized to depart on two buses. Natalee was to be on the second bus. Plummer reports that no one reported (or knew) that Natalee did not return to the Holiday Inn, until the first group of students were assembling for the first bus.

Rita hit Plummer with the question: How could you leave with one student missing? He retorted that it was the consensus to get all the other students safely out of Aruba and back in Mountain Brook. One chaperone remained behind.

Dave Holloway just leaves at 20-20 hindsight. He does question how students who were 18 could be allowed about to drink as they will without proper supervision. He focuses on the argument that in Alabama it is age 21 to drink, so the students were brought to a new environment where alcohol was readily available. He felt more oversight should have been occurred.

Plummer claimed that the oversight was unnecessary last evening, because all the students were 18 and responsible adults.

With Aloha

Posted by Richard at February 23, 2006 10:21 PM

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